“Hey babe, you in trouble or something?”

“What? Oh! No, no I was just telling Ms. Fry I wanted to help Meg with Algebra after school.”

“Whoa, really? Who are you?”

“Hey! Why is everyone so surprised that I can be helpful?”

“I’m not surprised babe, it’s just, I don’t know... this is school work, you’re normally, um, bummed by this stuff.”

What he really meant by bummed was that normally any more responsibility beyond just existing nearly sent me into a panic.

“I know, I know, but I told you, I’m feeling so much better! ...I just wish I knew why.”

“Have you told your Mom that’s it’s the medicine, or what?”

“Well, no... & she’s been a lot weirder than normal lately, I think she thinks I’m on drugs or something. I mean that’s basically what Ms. Fry said just now.”

“Wait, what?! Really?”

“Yeah, but it’s cool, Ms. Fry is actually on my side, which makes at least one adult in this world.”

“Your Mom is on your side babe, she’s just old.”

He was really so eloquent.

“Speaking of, can you give me a ride home? She’ll freak out if I’m late again…”

“Yeah, of course, anything for you, but didn't you say Meg was driving you before?”

“I thought so too! But she said after the party her Dad got mad at her for something & took away her keys again.”

“Oh that's gnarly. Poor Meg.”

I always hated this stupid town & how everyone in it thought that these privileges they had been given were a right & that it was heinous for their parents to control them at all. In their defense, many of their parents were bankers or dentists or something making egregious amounts of money & spending most of their time in Cabo or some other destination distinctly not with their children, so you might excuse them for taking offense to their delinquent parents suddenly giving a crap. But I had a parent who gave a crap & as much as I hated to admit it back then, I knew that.

Bricks may have been the only guy on the football team who listened to Sonic Youth & so I’ll never stop associating Daydream Nation with riding home in his, to be frank, really ugly pickup truck. He put in the cassette & "Teen Age Riot" blasted from the speakers.

Thurston Moore doesn’t know it, but he was singing about me. I’m not sure if I stuck to my guns or not, but I had definitely let someone through… & when I got up to my room, they were already waiting for me.

“Time to get it / Before you let it get to you / Here he comes now / Stick to your guns and let him through”